Want more clients? Leading workshops and speaking at events is one of the most effective ways to grow your list and get new clients. There are many ways to connect with the right people to get these gigs, but before you start emailing or messaging event leaders, you must build an online presence with content that positions you as a speaker or workshop leader.
If you haven’t yet led a workshop or stood on the stage, and you’re afraid you don’t have what it takes, the number one thing you need is EXPERTISE.
Being an expert means you know your stuff. Whatever your specialty may be, you’ve studied it, practiced it, and it falls into your “eat, breathe, and sleep” category. If you have this, put any doubts aside and focus on creating compelling online spaces.
I use these 7 steps with my clients who want to grow their circle of influence and get speaking and workshop gigs:
1. Decide what type of content is right for you.
Content is a great way to get discovered. But I’m not only referring to written blog posts. If writing isn’t your thing, don’t do it! That’s the beauty of this crazy online space. Yes, it’s overflowing with people sharing way too much, and often warrants eye-rolls and unfriending.
I’m a believer in content. It’s pure gold. It’s digital PR, but unlike old school, traditional PR, it’s easy and accessible.
Below are several types of content you can create. Chose the media you know you can work with and that you enjoy creating. Then create a plan to start producing those types of content every week. Selecting a few of these means, you’re now putting out multi-media content. And when you’re a speaker, that is key.
Written blog posts
Facebook Live Videos
Interviews (written, video, or audio)
Rants (sharing your opinion on a topic)
Photos, Images & Sketches
2. Create content that attracts your ideal speaking engagement audience.
Knowing everything about your ideal client will help your future followers find you.
Consider what types of events interest you the most. List them out. Then do a little research and see who goes to these events. You can find everything from what these people do, how much money they make, what questions they’re asking online.
Your content should be more about them than about you. If you can be the one to answer their questions- you’ve positioned yourself as their go-to expert.
Create a list of the most popular topics, and begin creating titles under each topic that speak directly to their questions. So, if their online asking “how to get my husband to stop drinking so much?” you’re title would be almost exactly that same question: “How to Get Your Husband To Stop Drinking So Much,” or “Is Your Husband’s Drinking Killing Your Relationship?”
3. Create a brand that positions you as a speaker.
I say this way too often, but just a reminder that branding is not about fonts, logos, and colors – that is a visual brand, and it comes later. Creating your speaker brand is about messaging, positioning, voice, values, and how you differentiate yourself from others in your industry.
This is your opportunity to be uniquely you. What’s your thing? Do you wear leather pants? You always wear a particular color to speak? Mel Robbins wears high tops. That’s her thing, and she even talks about it on stage. Brené Brown wears jeans. Those are just two of my favorites but poke around a see what well-known speakers are creating their brands around.
Whatever your thing is, show it off and make it yours.
Your core messaging should always position you as an expert and a speaker/workshop leader. Spend time on this – it’s the most essential element of your brand.
TIP: Start by answering these questions and write out your answers. This will become essential, usable content for your messaging:
> Why would I hire you to speak?
> Why would I look to you for advice (and advice to my audience)?
> How do I know you’re not annoying as hell or extremely predictable?
> What makes you different from other speakers?
4: Create an editorial blogging calendar.
This is one of my favorite things to do because it organizes all of your content in a way that takes away the overwhelm and makes it doable.
I prefer to use a simple Google Spreadsheet for this. Decide how often you will post content to your blog and all your social channels, and write in the dates, which you can then fill in as you go.
The necessary things to include on your editorial calendar are:
Messaging (which of your core messages you will use for this post)
Call to Action (What action you want your audience to take)
Free offer (Is there a freebie that you will give away on this topic in exchange for an email?)
Link to published content
5: Prepare 2-4 pieces of “spotlight” content.
Create content that positions you as an expert and a speaker. Don’t be afraid to BE the thought leader. Talk about it, video yourself talking about it, write about it, diagram it – whichever media works best for you, use it.
TIP: Having a few blog posts that show you speaking will position you the right way. Remember, you have bragging rights. There’s no space for meek and quiet here.
6. Create FAST website solutions that position you as a speaker or workshop leader.
If you want to be a speaker or lead workshops, you need a website presence. You need more than just social media platforms, which you cannot control as easily as your website.
This doesn’t mean you need to go BIG here. My clients always start with “I need a new website!” But this often not true. That can be in your next phase – where you have a better planned out marketing strategy and a fully integrated plan.
Initially, your time is best spent on the simple changes you can make. Start with the basics by making some necessary tweaks.
Your website needs to represent you and your unique brand in every possible way. Email is not dead, and this is still the best platform for you to engage with your people. So the thing to do is to attract your followers to your website and learn how to captivate them once they get there so that you can add them to your email list.
Update your banner with a photo and copy that shows you’re a speaker.
Capture names and emails. Make sure you have a compelling free offer your visitors will want to exchange for their name and email.
Create a speaker page. This may be a separate page from your home page (if are promoting yourself and your business in other ways) and can include an engaging description of who you are and what you do, the type of speaking engagements you’re available for, the top 3-5 topics in your wheelhouse, and how to get in touch with you.
Remember, people who hire you to speak do so to impress their audiences, so make sure you’re showing how you will transform, captivate, and engage their audience.
Update your calls to action and include inquiry forms. Your site should be easy to navigate and have a way for prospects to request more information. A simple form will do the trick.
7: Be present on the platforms your ideal clients use.
Once you have created engaging content, you have to make sure it gets in front of people.
Post your content where your audience is. This includes social platforms – Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc., as well as participating in online forums. Commenting and chatting with people in these forums will position you as the expert. I’ve had clients get speaking engagements from merely chiming in on a private Facebook group.
Which of these steps do you have a question about? Post it in the comments.
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I help clients to create the right brand and engaging content to take them to center stage.
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